After his primary defeat and subsequent resignation from his leadership position, Republicans elected California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace Eric Cantor as the House majority leader. The outgoing Cantor is set to step down at the end of July.
McCarthy was up against Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a contender widely considered more conservative than McCarthy. With Labrador entering the running relatively late, McCarthy had reportedly already had an opportunity to gather the support of many in his party.
The final tally was not made public, so it is unclear how close the House vote was.
Labrador petitioned his fellow Republicans to eschew another establishment congressman when selecting Cantor’s replacement. In the end, however, GOP representatives opted to promote the man who, since 2011, has held the third-highest ranking House position as majority whip.
As The Hill reported, McCarthy’s rise was somewhat quicker than projected due to Cantor’s unexpected ouster. While many insiders believed he would eventually succeed Cantor, they assumed it would be when the latter took over for John Boehner as House speaker.
While conservatives might have hoped for a shift to the right, many of McCarthy’s colleagues celebrate the notably casual lawmaker.
North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson described the GOP leader as “affable,” lauding the fact that he “takes his coat off” and “rolls up his sleeves” prior to meetings.
“He’s not worried about being formal and having to look polished,” Hudson explained. “I think he just is who he is.”
Despite any personality differences he might have in comparison to Cantor, though, many see his selection as merely a reinforcement of the status quo.
— MyDogAteMyEmails (@robfit) June 19, 2014
McCarthy has just been elected house majority leader. Let’s keep with tradition and primary HIM in 2 years. Who’s with me?
— Taylor Egly (@TaylorEgly) June 19, 2014
GOP establishment isn’t stupid. They’re asserting their power/influence within D.C. machine. McCarthy pick not surprising to me in least.
— Jedediah Bila (@JedediahBila) June 19, 2014
Photo Credit: Facebook/Kevin McCarthy
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom